Gabriel Agbonlahor's first Barclays Premier League goal of the season was enough to see off shot-shy Sunderland as Aston Villa ruined former boss Martin O'Neill's day with a 1-0 win.
The striker fired home from close range 12 minutes after the break to claim just a second league victory of the season for the midlanders on an afternoon when the Black Cats mustered only a single notable effort on target, and that six minutes from time.
It was no more than Villa, who headed north without former Sunderland striker Darren Bent, deserved after turning in a display which belied their lowly position with striker Christian Benteke bullying the home defence and Barry Bannan enjoying plenty of space in midfield.
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